Using Information Resources to Enhance Urban Markets

Riccardo Bodini and Robert Weissbourd

This paper focuses on the role of information resources in enhancing market performance, particularly in enabling markets to expand to underserved urban areas. Better information and information tools can be used strategically to increase productivity, shift consumer demand or reduce transaction costs and risks—each of which can cause markets to shift to include more inner city assets and people, improving both the neighborhood and the regional economy. Specific examples—ranging from improving credit scoring data in order to expand financial products, to creating better labor force certification in order to expand hiring—are explored, along with key lessons from practitioners about effectively using information resources for community development.